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April 2013

a new pattern and big stitches

Flowers pattern

TA DAAH!! a new pattern is available in my etsy shop today.  i finished the flowers in their vases!  The pattern also contains a few more vases and flowers and an extra butterfly and dragonfly.


the thing I enjoyed most in making this pattern was the 'big stitches' that I used to fill the vases.  I blended two colours of floss to get a bit more texture and then filled the vases with bigger than normal stitches.  The stitches are also less even than I would normally stitch, I found this quite difficult (my inner neatness freak kept rearing his tidy head!) but I do love the nice sketchy feel so I think I'll be experimenting a little more with this technique.

French knot heads

I love doing these french knot heads they remind me of hydrangea heads.

Purple tulips

and these closed tulip heads

Star flowers

a bit daisyish perhaps but I love making flowers up

Red geraniums

it has occurred to me that the vases of flowers would look nice on a patchwork lap quilt and I can think of someone who might appreciate such a gift so I may have myself a little project for the late spring/summer!

Flowers whole

I had such fun making this pattern and thought I would get away with no applique at all (although you could applique the vases!).  But the butterfly in the corner, I just couldn't help myself.  Of course you could embroider the butterfly just as easily as appliqueing it.  

I'm thinking some brightly coloured flowers might be rather nice.



Drawings book

I managed to get a little bit of sketching done this weekend.  I think this is the first drawing I've done in a couple of weeks!  There has been so much stitching to do recently that I've had no time at all for drawing, so it was nice to get back to sketching

applique dress tutorial

Applique tutorial 03

a quick tutorial for those who asked how I applique my dresses onto my embroidered girls.  Most of the girls come from this pattern.  I applique the dress rather than embroidering it.

firstly I use bondaweb to stick my dresses down, this is because I like the raw edge but the bondaweb stops it fraying.

Because I do lots of dresses I have rectangles of fabric already bondawebbed and I just cut dresses, bunting and butterflies out of those

Applique tutorial 01

for this tutorial I've used a recent commission to demonstrate the method.  If you're just making one dress it is easier to cut the dress pattern out of the fabric and then cut the same pattern from the bondaweb and iron the bondaweb to the back of the dress.

Applique tutorial 02

It's important that you don't iron the dress down at this point as the heat from the iron would either make your other embroidery lines disappear or set permanently.  I stitch the dress in place first, if you prefer you could do all the other embroidering, the face, arms etc. and then pin the dress in place.  

Applique tutorial 04

I also use this point to match up threads I want to use just to make sure they all go well together

Stitch 001

I then stitch the dress down using small stitches around the edge, you could use a running stitch close to the edge if you would prefer a neater look.  

Stitch 006

You could also use a hoop while you are stitching the dress if you prefer.  The advantage of stitching before you iron the dress to the base fabric is a slightly softer look to the fabric, not quite so flat looking

Stitch 011

Now you can continue stitching the rest of your embroidery.  You can add stitching on top of the dress, I often add french knots, in this case I added a line of stitching to look like a ribbon emphasizing the empire line of the dress.

I hope this little tutorial answers everything but if not please ask away in the comments section below



Fox detail

it's been a busy time just recently, with lots of lovely commissions to make.  So I decided to take a break by stitching up someone else's patterns just for a change.  I needed a pattern for a toiletries bag for one of my commissions so I decided to make up a version for my daughter first to test the pattern.

I used this gorgeous embroidery pattern from penguin and fish.  The colour choice was Annis's and I was a little unsure about a blue fox but actually I love it!

Fox bag

this is the bag (as yet unlined).  I bought the pattern from Napkitten pattern on Etsy, she is happy for people to sell small numbers of items made up from her patterns so it's perfect.  I have adapted it slightly, once by mistake when I missed off one of the zip pulls (which I thought Annis wouldn't notice but she did!) and also deliberately as I don't need the pockets.  The pattern is a dream to follow and even though I was a little nervous about how complicated it might be it was actually very simple (I worked slowly with it!)

Side bag

this is the side with the zip pull!


I also treated myself to some sublime stitching floss which I have yet to try out.  I ordered the mingles by mistake (I don't know where my head is at this week!) I meant to order flowerbox but they are lovely just the same.  I can't wait to use them but I will have to because I am working on a Jane Austen design for a bag that needs delicate pinks and lavenders, my favourites.


and finally a bit of questionable photography (I didn't want to unframe them so the glass is reflecting badly!)  My lovely man brought three beautiful and tiny jaquard loom embroidered pictures from the carboot sale for me 


there is also a snowdrop that I gave up trying to photograph.  The little flowers are actually embroidered cigarette cards.  When I'm feeling braver I will unframe them and photograph without the glass.

Weekending 012

and dog walking of course!  what would a weekend be without dog walking?

I hope you've all had a lovely weekend with stitching and sunshine